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IP/10/1415

Brussels, 28 October 2010

Environment: Commission asks four Member States to implement EU chemicals legislation

The European Commission is asking France, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia to update their chemicals legislation to comply with the Directive on the classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures. These Member States have either not adopted all the measures necessary to implement this law at national level or have not yet officially informed the Commission that they are in place. On the recommendation of Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, a reasoned opinion is being sent by the Commission. The four Member States have two months to comply with the request. Failing this, the Commission may refer them to the European Court of Justice.

Directive 2008/112/EC on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures amends several other Directives which contain provisions on the classification and labelling of chemicals. It affects so-called downstream legislation concerning cosmetics, toys, paints, varnishes, vehicle refinishing products, vehicles and electric and electronic equipment. Its aims include improving information and knowledge to help protect the environment and human health.

Member States had to adopt and publish the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with the new Directive by 1 April 2010. France, Italy, Luxembourg and Slovenia did not notify all the implementing legislation in time. Therefore a reasoned opinion is being sent.

Background

The updated Directive follows the adoption of new rules aligning the EU system of classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures to the United Nations Globally Harmonised System (GHS). This new system will ensure that the same hazards will be described and labelled in the same way all around the world. Using internationally agreed classification criteria and labelling elements is expected to facilitate trade and contribute towards global efforts to protect humans and the environment from the hazardous effects of chemicals. The rules introduced by the GHS are integrated in Regulation 1272/2008 which gradually replaces current legislation on the classification, labelling and packaging of chemical substances and mixtures.

For current statistics on infringements in general see:

http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/implementation_en.htm

MEMO/10/530


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